Maurice Ferré, Miami's first Latino mayor, dies after battling cancer

“Miami was his passion. He always wanted to see how it could build and advance itself," said Carlos Ferré, his son.
Maurice Ferre
Maurice Ferre addresses supporters in the Little Havana district of Miami on Oct. 26, 2001.Tony Gutierrez / AP file

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By Associated Press

MIAMI — Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferré, who’s widely regarded as the father of modern-day Miami, has died. He was 84.

Ferré’s son Carlos says his father died Thursday morning surrounded by family at his Coconut Grove home. He had been battling cancer for about two years.

Ferré, whose family moved to Miami from Puerto Rico, led the city’s government from 1973 to 1985 as Miami developed into an international hub and gateway to Latin America.

Carlos Ferré said of his father: “Miami was his passion. He always wanted to see how it could build and advance itself.”

The Miami Herald reports that Ferré was instrumental in integrating the city’s workforce and fostering high-rise development in downtown.

Earlier this year, the city renamed a downtown Miami park in Ferré’s honor.

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